Djibril Sidibe joined Everton in August 2019 on a season-long loan from Monaco.
The explosive right-back was an integral component of Monaco’s impressive Ligue 1 champion team in 2016/17 following his move from domestic rivals Lille.
Sidibe was recruited to add thrust and skill to Monaco’s right side – while helping implement a mean streak to a backline which had leaked 50 league goals the previous season.
Operating in tandem with left-back Benjamin Mendy, the two Frenchmen a pair of pistons bursting up and down Monaco’s flanks, Sidibe was part of a side which achieved an astonishing 39-point swing to wrest the title from Paris Saint-Germain.
Sidibe, who represented France at Under-20 and Under-21 levels, had played five times for Monaco when Didier Deschamps gave the defender his senior debut against Italy in September 2016.
The player retained his spot in manager Deschamps’ party and was a member of the French squad which won the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Sidibe, whose one goal for his country came in a 3-2 friendly victory over England in June 2017, has been on the winning side in 11 of his 18 France appearances and experienced defeat only twice.
Capable of playing further upfield and comfortable on the left of defence, Sidibe joined hometown team Troyes aged eight and made his first-team debut as a 17-year-old in October 2009.
Troyes were promoted into France’s second division in Sidibe’s first campaign. And the club completed their rise to Ligue 1 in the local boy’s final season two years later.
Sidibe was part of a defence in 2011/12 which was Ligue 2’s most miserly – and chipped in with a 90th-minute winner against nearest promotion rivals Sedan – as Troyes secured a top-three finish to reclaim their place in the top division.
Aged 19 and considered one of his domestic game’s hottest properties, Sidibe swapped Troyes for Lille in summer 2012.
He celebrated his Lille debut by scoring the equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Nice, a match which also marked the first of 26 games for club and country in which he has played alongside current Everton left-back Lucas Digne.
Sidibe played 119 games and scored 11 goals in four seasons with Lille, a period in which the club finished no lower than eighth in Ligue 1 and claimed third spot in 2013/14.
In his final campaign, Sidibe scored direct from a free-kick in the league cup final against Paris Saint-Germain, albeit the capital team won the game 2-1.
Sidibe would not have to wait long for silverware, though, playing an essential role in rampant Monaco surging to their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years the following season.
In a campaign when Monaco threatened to sweep all before them, Leonardo Jardim’s side conceded only 31 league goals and scored 107 – an increase of 50 on the previous campaign – to win the championship by eight points from PSG.
Manager Jardim, deploying Sidibe and Mendy as marauding full-backs in an enterprising and fearless system, led Monaco to the Champions League semi-finals after overcoming Manchester City in the first knockout stage.
Sidibe, who had been on standby for France’s 2016 European Championship squad, also helped Monaco reach the league cup final and last four of the French Cup.
He featured in 27 Ligue 1 games the next season, as Monaco finished runners-up to PSG, with the outcome the same when the two teams met in that term’s league cup final.
Sidibe made another 32 appearances in 2018/19, four of them in the Champions League.
The world champion player joined Everton after contributing directly to 27 goals – scoring six – in 114 games in all competitions for Monaco.